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  • What can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

    Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

    I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

    I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

    So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113

  • #2
    get you a job in sales. To get a job as a field sales rep working for any of the major welding supply stores or welder manufacture's. Most require a bachelor's degree. or lots of welding experience.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by smatsushima1 View Post
      I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

      Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

      I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

      I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

      So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

      I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113
      It will make getting into management easier. However, I wouldn't mention it on the job, be kinda sorta like telling the guys you don't wear underwear.....
      life is good

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      • #4
        with your welding experience, and get a lot of it. Look at a business degree or marketing, they are broad enough that you can follow many different paths.

        I say if your inclined to get more education you should. Who is it hurting and who can it benefit?

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        • #5
          Never pass up the opportunity for more education. It makes you more valuable to a prospective employer.

          Even if that education is not in your current job, it shows that you more "rounded" as an employee.
          _kevin

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          • #6
            It didn't matter much to me when I was younger that I didn't have degree, today if I had the ability would get engineering. There are other things in welding related fields beside chipping slag, it helps later. I wa i apprenticeship with a guy with the real book learnin, he blew by us in short order. Rest of us had to work our way up the food chain, someone snatched him up and pulled.
            Last edited by Sberry; 12-08-2010, 08:32 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by smatsushima1 View Post
              I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

              Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

              I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

              I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

              So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

              I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113
              Hi
              I can't specifically say what good a 4-yr degree is for welding, but
              some general comments...

              I've never known someone who said "Gosh, I got too much education"...
              IF you can swing the time, $, and so on, get as much as you can.

              If you look closely at the unemployment data for our current hard times,
              everything else being equal, people with more education tend to be doing
              better -- they have lower rates of unemployment and are out of work for
              less time vis-a-vis the folks with less education.

              As to what major - engineering vs english or business... I'm an engineer, with
              engineering degrees, etc, etc. When I look at the alumni magazines from my
              universities, I see lots of folks with engineering degrees who are doing things
              like being executives at companies or doing other non-engineering work,
              but 0 folks with, say, only business degrees working as engineers. Looking at
              the data, it seems that having a technical degree opens more doors and makes
              more paths available than having a non-technical one. My guess is that what
              all those physics and math courses really teach is how to approach problems,
              analyze them, pick the right tools to solve them, and so on. Also, since the
              technical fields are constantly changing, another secret thing that's taught
              is to constantly be able to learn things.

              Also, any decent university will require that their engineering students
              take a number of non-engineering courses, which can be in business or
              English (or underwater basket weaving, for that matter). Look closely
              at the course catalog and degree requirements for those areas; the
              number of non-technical courses to take might be enough to get you a minor
              in business/etc -- or close enough to it that you'd need only another course or
              two. If things work out right, you might even be able to swing a dual-major
              degree

              Good luck

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              • #8
                If I would have listened to my mother I could be slaving away under a hot secretary instead of a welding hood.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                  If I would have listened to my mother I could be slaving away under a hot secretary instead of a welding hood.
                  Best I've ever heard it put.

                  But go as far as you can go, no matter what the major.

                  You want to have and be able to open doors later in life. When your settled in your 40's doors start to close. If the economy or whatever starts looking bad, even more doors close.

                  Then its tough to create options later on, create them now.

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                  • #10
                    English degree

                    Every one of these replies offer good, solid advice, so instead of offering more advice, let me share my real-life experience.

                    I learned to weld in vocational agriculture class in high school and worked as a welder in order get through college. I ended up with a B.A. and M.A. in English, intending to teach at the junior college level. However, this was in the late '60's-early '70's and those jobs were very hard to find. Consequently, I spent the next 3 years after graduation working as - you guessed it - a welder.

                    Finally, though, I was able to find a job with a publishing company as an outside sales rep. This came with a good salary, bonuses, expense account, company car and many other benefits. Life was, indeed, good, but I never lost my passion or skills for welding.

                    Then the company I worked for was aquired by a larger company and I was out of a job. But by then, I had saved enough to purchase a small shop and the equipment necessary to start my own welding business. I did general repairs, custom work, and a lot of construction-related light fabrication. Again, life was good, until 2008 when the economy crashed and construction came to a halt.

                    But, at the age of 64, I was able to land a job as a technical writer with an engieering firm. It turned out that my welding and construction experience, along with the English degrees, were exactly what they were looking for.

                    I know this has been a bit long, but I hope it demonstrates that the more skills and education you have, regardless of the field, the better off you will be. You never know where life will take you.
                    Last edited by mikeswelding; 12-08-2010, 11:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Hey sushi,
                      You post a thread on the WW forum, get & respond with 50 opinions/suggestions, indicate you have no interest in wages/earning power, & now you come here to query the same........duuhhhhh. You apparently have no idea of what you want to do, have a career objective, pursue an income level, & then you expect others to place a value on a degree.....another duuhhhhh. You need to look into the mirror & ask the person you see what he wants....then wait for an answer..... quite simple, isn't it? If you can't find the answer there, make an appointment with a good psychiatrist, recline on the big leather couch, & reveal your true inner self. Then, you may find your answer.

                      About the only input I can render is that the bachelor degree, no matter what, will allow you to use the English language with clarity, apply good punctuation, also give you knowledge how to use the numerical functions such as fractions/decimals that most cannot use properly, provide the understanding of how to research, & utilize the long-lost habit of "homework". So you may understand why my response is as stated, I have an Associate Degree in Computer Programming & a Bachelor Degree in Journalism. Neither had anything to do with my entire career(47yrs) of welding, other than to allow me to communicate concisely, evaluate written documentation with clear understanding, & give me the desire to learn everything I could enroute to advance my earning power. Each step increased my level of value that, today, being retired, I live quite comfortably. Even now, fully retired from the workforce, I still get up 6am each morning & go to work in my own welding/fab shop because the passion never was diminished & I never had any second-thoughts of the decisions I made thru all those years. Make sense? Probably not......

                      Does this help you make a decision? If not......another free...duuhhhhh.

                      Denny
                      * Complete welding, machine, & fab shop *
                      * Mobile unit *
                      * Finally retired *
                      ____________________________________________

                      * A man's word is his honor..... without honor, there is nothing. *
                      * Words are like bullets..... once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back. *
                      * I have no reservation to kill nor hesitation to die for the U.S. Constitution & the American Flag. *
                      * Age is a state of mind..... at my age, you cannot fathom what is in my mind. *

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                      • #12
                        Not everyone has the smarts or luxury to get a degree. If you have both, then get the degree. In most cases you can fall back on the trades. I work in a technical field, with a technical degree. When I was laid off from the auto industry in 2008, for about 1 year, I was able to fall back on the trades and survive. Boy is it nice being back to plush work with high pay.
                        Last edited by johnny_waz; 12-08-2010, 12:25 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yorkiepap View Post
                          Hey sushi,
                          You post a thread on the WW forum, get & respond with 50 opinions/suggestions, indicate you have no interest in wages/earning power, & now you come here to query the same........duuhhhhh. You apparently have no idea of what you want to do, have a career objective, pursue an income level, & then you expect others to place a value on a degree.....another duuhhhhh. You need to look into the mirror & ask the person you see what he wants....then wait for an answer..... quite simple, isn't it? If you can't find the answer there, make an appointment with a good psychiatrist, recline on the big leather couch, & reveal your true inner self. Then, you may find your answer.

                          About the only input I can render is that the bachelor degree, no matter what, will allow you to use the English language with clarity, apply good punctuation, also give you knowledge how to use the numerical functions such as fractions/decimals that most cannot use properly, provide the understanding of how to research, & utilize the long-lost habit of "homework". So you may understand why my response is as stated, I have an Associate Degree in Computer Programming & a Bachelor Degree in Journalism. Neither had anything to do with my entire career(47yrs) of welding, other than to allow me to communicate concisely, evaluate written documentation with clear understanding, & give me the desire to learn everything I could enroute to advance my earning power. Each step increased my level of value that, today, being retired, I live quite comfortably. Even now, fully retired from the workforce, I still get up 6am each morning & go to work in my own welding/fab shop because the passion never was diminished & I never had any second-thoughts of the decisions I made thru all those years. Make sense? Probably not......

                          Does this help you make a decision? If not......another free...duuhhhhh.

                          Denny
                          I posted the same question on this forum to get more replies and see my options with a broader perspective........duuhhhhh. When formulating opinions, it's always better to have more replies than less replies........duuhhhhh.

                          I know what I want to do with my life: I want to be a welder but would also like to be a technical writer on the side. Before I jump into something that could potentially hurt me, I would like to see from others in the field if it would be a viable option. I thought my idea would be perfectly fine but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't as bright as I perceived it.

                          "If you want to see God have a sense of humor, make plans."

                          I made plans and thankfully, I never jumped in. I never knew how much more an engineering degree can work for me until I posted the question on WW and here. I'm starting to consider this engineering degree only because of the amount of people who praise it. I'm tired of letting my pride get in the way of my decisions and in the long run, screw me over. I need to ask for help eventually and why not do it when I have formulated a plan that I would like to do?

                          These days, most people who obtain Bachelor's degrees do not know how to write properly. I've read some engineer's work and it reads like a child wrote it. Most people want to take the easiest classes and electives they can get and in so doing, skip the classes that force them to write papers. The only English classes that most people take are 100 and the critical thinking class, and now they even offer a critical thinking philosophy class. Standards are dropped.

                          I admire that you earned your Bachelor's degree when you did because that was a time period when everything made sense. Higher education, if not everything, has changed, and not for the better. There would be no way to show an employer that I have great writing skills besides from getting a minor in the only subject I will enjoy studying or getting the English degree.

                          I know what my reflection says, but that may not be the best choice. Other student's reflections tell them to get art history and philosophy degrees and look at them. I don't want to be like that and will not be like that.

                          Thank you for not holding back on your honesty.
                          Last edited by smatsushima1; 12-08-2010, 01:06 PM.

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                          • #14
                            You have gotten

                            alot of good advise. Whatever you do, you only get out of something what you put in to it. I work with engineers every day. Most are able to do what they need to do in general. The rare few that excell, are really good. I have about 5 years
                            of tech school and college, and use all of it in construction management. A degree
                            doesnt mean anything if you cant do anything with it. You dont need a degree to
                            be successful, but it sure helps. I`am getting back to welding for a retirement job.

                            old but new

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                            • #15
                              The only thing I am qualified is to anything with nothing,, ha. Haven't even took a welding test for so long not even qualified to do that, do have license to drive a car. If had a chance to do it over would have at least picked up some trade licenses along the way when they were easier to get.
                              If I had the chance to do it over I would likely be mechanical engineer and work on getting electrical license with degree in business while we are on the wish list,,, hahaha.
                              I had considered plumbers a while back but my bud died that would have "apprenticed" me.

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